Bangladesh eye 2 gold
Asian Archery GP starts tomorrow at BKSP
Bolstered by success in the fourth edition of Asian Archery Grand Prix in India, hosts Bangladesh dream of clinching at least two gold medals in the fifth edition of the tournament which gets underway at Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protisthan in Savar tomorrow.
Sajjad Hossain created a small piece of history at Lake City in Kolkata last month when the unheralded archer from Chandpur became the first Bangladeshi to win the men's individual recurve 70m gold leaving world-class players from India, Iran and Malaysia behind. Bangladesh also grabbed the silver medal in the men's recurve team event.
The hosts this time seem determined to retain the men's individual recurve gold and add gold medal to the men's recurve event.
"We are all set to host an international tournament for the second time after the first South Asian Archery Championships in 2006 and we hope to get better results this time following our achievements in last month's Grand Prix tournament in India," said Bangladesh Archery Federation president major general (retd) Sadik Hasan at a press conference.
Some 101 archers from India, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Nepal, Iran, Iraq, Thailand, Hungary and hosts Bangladesh will take part in the five-day meet.
They will fight for eight golds -- men's individual recurve, women's individual recurve, men's recurve team, women's recurve team, men's compound singles, women's compound singles, men's compound team and women's compound team.
BAF general secretary Rajib Ahmed believes the archers from India and Malaysia would be the main threats for the hosts in the meet and the hosts have been preparing well ahead of the Grand Prix as well as next year's South Asian Games.
"As far as I know, India is sending some archers who had earlier competed in Olympic and World Championships and Malaysia is also sending their world-class archers and they will be our prime rivals," said Ahmed. "However, our preparation is good enough and I cannot spell out a single name as the boys are doing well in practice."
The general secretary said that their performance in the compound event was not good, but they hoped to secure silver or bronze medal in compound 70m event.
Uttara Bank, an organisation which has been maintaining a close relation with the archery federation, is the prime sponsor of the tournament as they will provide Tk 25 lakh out of an estimated budget of Tk 41.5 lakh.
Besides, Cute, GMG Airlines, My One television, Pepsi, City Group, Dhaka Regency Hotel will provide the rest of the money.
Tournament committee chairman Gazi Golam Dastogir and tournament director and Asian Archery Federation vice-president major (retd) Baharuddin Jamil spoke on the occasion.